One practice we suggest for our clients is journaling as a way to do work outside of our coaching sessions. One specific practice is called Morning Pages from writer and artist Julia Cameron. It entails hand writing down for three full pages whatever comes up in your mind without holding back anything. Morning pages works best if you do it first thing in the morning before checking your emails or getting on to any social media. Your logical brain hasn’t waken up yet so you can get access to your raw emotions.
We wanted to share one client’s journal entry here (in italics) followed by some comments she shared with us [in bracketed, non-italic sentences].
We hope this inspires you to try as much as it has been so successful for her! (Thank you, SA for sharing.) If you find yourself curious about how coaching can support you as it has for this client, we would love to hear from you! Just click here.
Mom, why did you leave me so much stuff? I was exhausted and sick and tired of going through tons of clothes and books and all the other stuff that you and Dad accumulated. A professional hauler said you guys hoarded six times more stuff than a regular household. six times mom, six times!
And Mom, your crafts. They are nice and all but you left me hundreds of them. How can I enjoy them if I am buried in them?!
You know mom, you died without cleaning out your clutter. I had to go through everything that you and Dad accumulated for sixty years of your marriage, and I had to do it all by myself because I’m your only child, and i was caring for Dad at the same time. He was dying too!!
It was hard. mom why did you die?
[Then it hit me like lightening. At first I thought I was mad at her for her tons of stuff, but I was actually mad at her for dying so soon, leaving me. I miss her so much, and all the clutter did not make up for her actual presence. They just make me miss her more.]
[Morning pages allowed me to write about my shadow inside. I was able to name it and tame it, so I can own it. Then I felt I could do something about it instead of being controlled by it. And as I continued to write, digging deeper and deeper into my true feelings, I became more and more honest with myself.]
Mom, I feel sad and lonely when I think about you. I miss you so much.
[Then, a strange thing happened. My hand started writing automatically as if my mom was answering to me.]
I love you so much. since the day you were born, you’ve made me the happiest mother. I am sorry that you have to deal with all the stuff I left with you. The stuff is not me. If they make you unhappy just throw them away because you being happy is more important to me.
[That day, I finished my morning pages with tears, tears of relief. When I looked at all the items before, I used to feel resentment toward my mom for leaving me hundreds of stuff. When I look at them today, I feel the loving connection with my mom. She just wants me to be happy.]